Posted by: bridget | 6 September 2007

Weekly Round-Up

The New York Times reports on hair donation.  Many young women (and many men!) donate hair to Locks of Love and similar organisations.  A common myth is that Locks of Love will use the hair to make wigs for kids with cancer.  In reality, the bulk of the hair is either thrown out or sold for approximately $6/ounce; Locks of Love uses the proceeds to cover overhead expenses.  A long ponytail weighs about 3 oz, so women who de-tress themselves would be better off donating $5 to Locks of Love and keeping their hair.

The end of the NYT article contains this nugget:

The idea that donated hair can benefit a gravely ill woman or child is so pervasive that some long-haired people even report being harassed for not chopping off their locks…. Perhaps they would be less adamant if they could visit Ms. Coffman in the Locks of Love office in Florida. Every day the hanks of hair arrive, filling some 10 postal bins, representing the best intentions of donors, but so much of it destined for the trash.

This pachyderm is routinely called upon to cut her long hair; when she insists on keeping it, she’s told that she is selfish and lots of cancer patients would love to have it.  She does not know any long-haired women who have been free from such harassment.  Aside from the issue of the utility of cutting one’s hair so a non-profit can be $2 more wealthy, there is something diguisting about people who are charitable with other people’s bodies.  To borrow the Will Rogers quote from Tammi’s site: “I remember way back when a liberal was one who was generous with his own money.”  It’s not generousity if it’s someone else’s money, hair, blood, or time. 


Thursday is Ann Day!  She defends the supposedly hypocritical Larry Craig and asks why the liberal media is so condescending of a gay man.


Prostitutes are turning to the Web to find customers.  Craigslist’s job section has many ads for the oldest profession around.  Under the Communications Decency Act of 1996, website owners are not responsible for the content posted on their pages. 

Police either respond to postings by prostitutes or, occaisonally, put up their own ads to trap the men who solicit them. 

The police say the focus on such misconduct is worthwhile because prostitution is often linked to other crimes involving drugs, weapons, physical abuse and exploitation of minors and immigrants.

Let’s parse this one out.  Prostitutes are often physically abused by their customers; many, as a result, carry arms.  It makes sense to try to avoid the exploitation of minors: that is one of the most fundamental roles of government.  Yet, minors who are forced into prostitution eventually grow up and become the adults who are arrested.  Furthermore, it makes little sense to worry about the exploitation of immigrants but not native-born women; how is it that only immigrants are exploited through prostitution?  If prostitution is bad because it results in abuse and exploitation of the prostitutes, why arrest them? 


Illegal immigrants are going back to Mexico to work on American-run farms.  Yet more proof that the free market works:

A sense of crisis prevails among American farmers who rely on immigrant laborers, more so since immigration legislation in the United States Senate failed in June and the authorities announced a crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants. An increasing number of farmers have been testing the alternative of raising crops across the border where there is a stable labor supply, growers and lawmakers in the United States and Mexico said.

Yes, folks, if farmers cannot get illegal immigrants, they will find other methods of producing their crops at the same or lower prices.  (Farmers in Mexico are paid about $11/day; those in California are paid about $9/hour.)  Now, all of this would seem to indicate that a free market works: employers will find the most efficient way to produce goods.  Farm owners disagree:

He also dismisses arguments that he could attract workers by raising wages, saying Americans do not take the sweaty, seasonal field jobs. “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I did that I would raise my costs and I would not have a legal work force,” Mr. Scaroni said.

Well, Americans do sweaty, seasonal construction jobs ($20/hour); sweaty, seasonal landscaping jobs ($20/hour); and sweaty, seasonal lifeguarding jobs ($11/hour + side benefits).  The real issue is that farm owners would prefer to pay workers $11/day, not $150/day. 



  1. Ann’s column was terrific.

    Re. the hair – a couple guys at our church did that, but I’m not sure if it was the same organization.

    Wasn’t one of the cool things about America supposed to be the freedom we enjoy? Then why do people feel like they can harrass you for not doing the hair thing (or whatever their pet charity is)?

  2. (Farmers in Mexico are paid about $11/day; those in California are paid about $9/hour.)

    Do I have to move to California to get paid? Or am I just missing something here.

    Maybe somebody owes me a lot of back pay since I have not been getting mine.

  3. Hello Theo,

    I left this where it was requested, but thought I’d visit here as well. will get you to my blog. One of my earlist postings (I haven’t been doing it that long) was on the subject of when one becomes a person. I believe I entitled it “Uh, We Forgot Something…” Lots of comments on this one. Sorry to be off topic with this. I just thought it most effective to answer your request.

    BTW, nice place you’ve got here. Lovely decor. Is that a lava lamp in the corner?

  4. I tried to get the discussion about legalizing prostitution started over on Neil’s blog. Hardly anyone bit.

  5. BTW Bridget you’ve got to see one of the pictures I posted on my other blog. You’ll know which one I am talking about when you see it.

  6. Mea culpa! I’ve been away and will catch up with this soon.

  7. My little brother went down to Nicaragua for the summer just before starting college. He came back a determined Democrat of the left-wing variety, complete with Che Guevara t-shirt.

    My step-mother had to explain to him that it wasn’t generous of him to give away his brother’s new pair of pants (not mine, another brother).

  8. I smell some bad statistics coming from right over there


    “Birth control pill may cut cancer risk: study”

    Sick ’em pachyderm!

  9. PatHMV,

    Ha! A nascant liberal, already measuring generousity by how he disposes of other people’s property.


    Um… I don’t know if I respond to “sick ’em pachyderm!” Now, if you put a comma between the penultimate and ultimate words, I might consider it. ;)

  10. Finally answering comments….

    Neil – but we’re only supposed to be free in the way that people want us to be free. After all, we aren’t really free to use our bodies for our own purposes.

    Sunday School Teacher – obviously, the illegals are doing the job that you won’t do (i.e. farming for $9/hour), which is why we need them. Ann Coulter once asked how she could become an illegal alien, so as to not have to pay taxes for two of the past five years, not have to pay for health care, schooling, etc.

    TotalTransformation – shall I start a ruckus about legalising prostitution?

    Apropos of your second comment, I had no clue which picture was relevant. ???????

  11. “Apropos of your second comment, I had no clue which picture was relevant. ???????”

    The pregnant woman with the words “my baby is pro-choice” written across said pregnant belly.

  12. Ah, that one. I think I blocked it out the first time I saw it.

    As I said at Stubborn Facts, I’m amazed that a pro-choicer would use the term “baby” to describe the contents of her uterus. Given that the suicide rate is something like 11 per 100,000 people, it is hard to imagine that any sensible person would be pro-choice before exiting the womb – after all, most of us choose to stick around, and don’t particularly like to be offed with reckless abandon.


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